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    2 Book Lovers Reviews

Under Her Skin
(Blank Canvas, Book 1)
 By Adriana Anders


As soon as I began reading this book, I knew that it was going to be a good one.  It’s always exciting to find a new author whose writing and storytelling strikes a chord with me.  I was immediately pulled into the story and the lives of the characters and, quite honestly, I didn’t want to put it down.

Uma is on a mission to erase the signs of abuse that were etched into her skin by her abusive boyfriend.  She has arrived in the small community of Blackwood, Virginia to begin the process of healing.  Leaving her old life behind, she wants to start fresh, make a new beginning for herself.  Living in Blackwood is a means to an end, an initial and crucial pit stop in her journey to a new life.  Having only the clothes on her back and a couple of dollars in her pocket, Uma needs to find a job and a safe place to stay.  Answering a peculiar ad in the local newspaper for a caretaker for an elderly lady is just the stroke of luck that she needs…or so she thinks.

Being at the beck and call of her new boss, Ms. Lloyd, would test even a saint’s patience.  She is demanding, rude, and downright cruel to Uma, but Uma isn’t in the position to quit or complain too much.  She needs the meager paycheck and the roof over her head. 

When Uma meets Ivan, Ms. Lloyd’s next door neighbor, she is immediately taken aback by his hulking appearance.  Her experience with men has given her good reason to be cautious, however, Ivan’s intimidating appearance is just an outward mask of a kind and caring human being.  Despite Ivan’s past and his anger issues, he has only ever been gentle and thoughtful toward Uma.  I loved Ivan!

What really worked in this book was that this was Uma’s journey.  She wasn’t looking for Ivan or any man to save her.  She wanted to regain the control that she had lost by being in a relationship with a controlling, abusive man.  Ivan was there to support her, to show her the kindness that she deserved.  He demonstrated the way that a man should treat a woman.  Did he want to seek out her ex-boyfriend and give him a taste of his own medicine?  Absolutely.  Ivan was a gentle giant around those he cared about, but it took great discipline on his part not to seek retribution for the wounded.  Did I mention that I loved Ivan?

The relationship that developed between Ivan and Uma was sweet and patient.  It was also incredibly steamy.  Their connection and chemistry was intense, and I was rooting for them from the very beginning.

Under Her Skin is an emotional story about healing, regaining control, and learning to trust.  It has characters that I was immediately invested in – characters that I was rooting for.  It is the coming together of broken souls.  Each character has their own story, their own history that has made them the person that they are today.  I am looking forward to discovering more about the characters from Blackwood, Virginia.

This was a fantastic debut novel!


​*4.5 Stars